Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposed 2023 budget allocates $3.1 billion for the Board of Regents and $439 million for the Technical College System of Georgia.
University System of Georgia
Funding for the Teaching portion of the university system’s operating budget is set to increase by $633 million to $2.8 billion. Major highlights include the following:
- $219 million for $5,000 cost-of-living adjustments for full-time employees
- $230 million to allow the university system to remove the Special Institution Fee (SIF) from students’ mandatory fees, typically the largest students pay (e.g. $450 per semester at the University of Georgia). The university system adopted the SIF in 2009 to supplement reduced state revenues for institutions’ general operating expenses as a temporary measure
- $100 million for formula-funded increases due to enrollment growth
- $63 million for capital maintenance and repairs
- $1.2 million for the first year of a five-year plan to expand capacity for nursing students
- $614,000 for elementary education and teacher training programs at Valdosta, Savannah, Albany and Fort Valley State Universities
All other programs under the Board of Regents, like the Agricultural Experiment Station, Cooperative Extension Service and Public Libraries, increased by a total of $17 million, which includes cost-of-living adjustments and restoration of past cuts.
Technical College System of Georgia
The proposed 2023 budget for technical colleges is $378 million, or $70 million more than last year. The addition consists of the following:
- $25 million for cost-of-living adjustments for full-time employees
- $33 million to restore past cuts and expand Allied Health, Commercial Truck Driving and Manufacturing programs
- $22 million for major repairs and renovations
- $5.2 million to fund the Dual Achievement Pilot Program (SB 204) at five technical colleges, which provides students ages 16 to 20 with the option to earn a high school diploma by completing a credential(s) at a technical college
- $23 million reduction in funding formula due to credit-hour decline in 2020-2021
Other programs under the technical college system increased by a total of $25 million. This includes $3 million more for Adult Education, which provides services for adult students with low English literacy skills or no high school diploma. Additions cover cost-of-living adjustments and restoration of past cuts.
The Georgia Student Finance Commission administers state funds for the REACH Georgia Scholarship, Dual Enrollment and a variety of other small scholarship, grant and loan programs. The FY 2023 budget includes $3 million more to meet projected need in Dual Enrollment. Dual Enrollment allows eligible high school students to take college courses at no cost to them. Funding remains below pre-pandemic levels and Dual Enrollment changes made in 2020. The REACH Scholarship uses both public and private funds, and state appropriations stayed at $6.4 million. REACH provides scholarships to about 3,600 students who districts identify in eighth grade, qualify for free/reduced-price lunch and have at least a 2.5 GPA. All other state-funded scholarships and loans were flat at $35 million.